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tv   Rock Center With Brian Williams  NBC  December 5, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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3 it's shopping season. a lot of people buying gold. richard engel will show us where some of that gold comes from and who's doing the mining. today is this boy's first day at work and his supervisors say they're not going to actually pay him any cash. instead he'll get a bag of dirt, bag of this ore that's being pulled out of the ground. maybe it has gold knit and maybe it doesn't. also tonight, she is a big city power broker in this country. she's controversial, she is stylish and she has enough authority to turn times square into a pedestrian mall. the question is could some of her ideas soon be coming to a
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town near you? >> do critics say, well she doesn't listen, she's autocratic. we could go on and on. >> please this. also we'll meet the hottest couple in the u.k. in the animal world these two could turn out to be something. and our guest in the studio tonight, jimmy fallon. he'll talk about how he found himself in the middle of the gop race. all that and more on "rock center" starting now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television "rock center." since you have to spend money anyway, at some point it has become fashionable for a lot of folks to become better, more ethical consumers. from the meat that you buy making sure it was raised humanely, perhaps, to cars and air conditioners that are fuel efficient. spending based on good intentions in effect.
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well, this time of year a lot of people are buying gifts of gold jewelry of one kind or another, and yet a lot of us either don't know or don't stop to think about what it takes to get gold out of the ground, and that's where our lead story here tonight comes in. it's an investigation into gold mining, where it's being done, who does it and who profits from it. tonight from half a world away, richard engel discovers the real price of gold. >> reporter: this is where the gold begins its flow, the west african country of mali. the continent's third biggest producer. i'm on the road to a modern gold rush, fueled by the skyrocketing price of gold. this is the gold trail in west africa, but it doesn't look much like it. this is still a very poor area, with dugout canoes used to cross the rivers, no paved roads. this area has seen almost no development, despite the incredible value of the trade.
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the poorest of the poor throughout west africa are rushing to primitive gold pits known as artisanal mines. working conditions here are abysmal. and critics say the biggest price is being paid by the region's children, who are being exploited and poisoned while they pull the treasure out of the ground. >> there couldn't be a bigger contrast between the situation of 6, 7-year-olds and 14, 15-year-olds working, day in, day out under very harsh conditions in these mines and the beautiful work of jewelry somewhere in switzerland or the u.s. or elsewhere. >> reporter: julianne has just written a 90-page report documenting the horrendous conditions under which tens of thousands of children work in the gold fields throughout west africa. >> is this hazardous for the children who are working here? >> not only is it hard work and then you're tired from it, it is actually hard work that gives you every day pain.
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back pain, headaches, joint aches, and it will create long-term spinal injury for some of these children who are carrying very heavy loads and are pretty small. >> reporter: children like samba. he was put to work pulling up the gold ore joining the small army of children who work mostly on the surface while the older miners labor deep underground. >> i see you're very strong. you can pick up the whole bag by yourself. how long have you been doing this? >> translator: this is my first day on the job. >> reporter: samba traveled 200 miles to come here so he could help support five younger brothers and sisters but he's still trying to hold on to his dreams. >> do you want to go into the mine one day? >> translator: no. >> what do you want to do when you grow up? >> translator: if i had the chance, i'd like to study and be a soccer player. >> a soccer player? play football? instead you're working here in the mine and it's very difficult work. we saw many children and many adults working incredibly long
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hours, going into mines, carrying heavy bags. on average, how much of these people making? >> $3 a week or $4 a week. >> 4 a week? >> yeah. the amajority of children we interviewed didn't earn any money at all. >> reporter: his supervisors say they're not going to pay this boy any cash. instead he'll get a bag of dirt a bag of this ore being pulled out of the ground. maybe it has gold knit andin it and maybe it doesn't but that's his wages for the day. and samba is not the only one working for a pittance. the entire family spends all day shoveling gold ore unaware of the value of what they're digging out of the ground. >> do you know that gold is now at the highest price it has ever been? do you think that you are being underpaid for what you do? >> translator: i don't know if i'm exploited. i only know i get paid $4 a day. >> his two children get nothing at all for their work, while
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missing a chance for a better chance. >> do you and your brother go in school? you don't go to school. do you want to go to school? >> translator: yes, i would like to go to school. >> reporter: at the end of another exhausting day, the children are just too tired to complain or to dream of another life. >> are the people who are actually taking the gold out of the ground seeing a benefit? >> no. they don't really get much out of it at all. >> but more people are being pushed into the gold industry because prize are higher. >> that's right. at the same time you've definitely got a gold rush. >> reporter: it's even pulling kids out of school in boom towns, according to the school's director. >> i found it shocking to learn that there are 145 children going to the school but there are 200 to 300 children working in artisanal gold mining full time. >> reporter: and it wasn't very hard to find them. little feli was out panning for gold. >> were you in school today? no school today?
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what grade are you in in school? you're in third grade? do you ever find any gold in here? you do? oh, that's really good. congratulations. you can see where there's the black soil and right on the top is a cluster of gold dust. >> reporter: but there's a danger unknown to most in the gold fields. many young people are exposed to mercury, widely used to refine the gold ore. julianne found 14-year-old katiatu cuspingtouching it with her bare hands. >> it has long-term negative health effects that can lead to intoxication and could kill people. if she's pregnant, which she is, it could impair development of the baby. >> translator: i didn't know that. >> reporter: she's not the only one. many villagers use mercury which binds with the gold flakes in
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the crushed ore right in their backyard. >> and this is a toxic process? >> it's a very toxic substance. one should not touch it. there's no information about this and there really needs to be action from the government, but also the international community to address this. >> reporter: and her hands are covered in mercury. if she goes and cleans clothing or prepares a meal for the children in this village, they'll be getting some mercury poisoning. >> yeah, they're at risk of definitely being poisoned with mercury. and then in a while she or her husband will burn this mix of gold and mercury and the vapor that comes from that is the most harmful of all. you can't see it, it's very vicious. you don't even see where the mercury is. it's just a gas at that point. >> reporter: so this is the result of her work? >> right. >> reporter: this is the gold that's left over after the mercury is burned off. let's get it back to her and she'll have this weighed now and see what it is. ma'am, this is yours. after consulting an ancient scale and today's gold price in
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mali's capital, the verdict comes in. >> so almost a gram, $30. that seems well below international norms for the price of gold. >> yeah, sure. a lot of very hard work goes into it. >> very hard work indeed and incredibly dangerous. when we come back, richard engel goes in to find out what it's like down there. aside from the rock, the rest of the surface is just soft mud, and a big concern, at least that i have, is that this mine could just collapse.
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center." the skyrocketing price of gold of late has driven some of the poorest people on earth to desperate measures to dig it out of the ground. for just a fraction of what the gold will fetch on the open market, children are pulled from school in many cases to work and then exposed to poisons in the process. to follow the gold trail from its very beginning, richard engel went down underground in the african nation of mali. >> reporter: this is the first step in getting artisanal gold out of the ground, digging a manhole-size pit 20 feet straight down. >> it's hard work. i'm sweating just sitting here looking at it.
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>> reporter: the more treacherous mines go six times deeper and they pock mark this entire area. >> i'm going to go down but let me check the rope first, okay? and you guys don't drop me, okay? >> reporter: to get to the bottom, i would take all the protection i could take except for my shoes. >> what's wrong with the shoes? >> translator: no way is he going in with shoes. if you bring us bad luck, we won't find any gold. >> but my feet aren't as strong as your feet. i think i'm going to hurt myself if i don't go in with shoes. >> translator: it's a spiritual problem to go down with the shoes. >> all right. well, i don't want to upset the spirits. i'll go down with no shoes. but now i need good spirits, okay? >> translator: tell him to hurry up. they are wasting my time and it's getting late. >> all right. >> reporter: the first couple of steps look easy with carved foot holes to climb down. >> okay, a little more rope.
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find another foot hold. >> reporter: but 20 feet down the foot holds suddenly stop. >> there are no more foot holds. so i've been push mieging my weight against the other side and using the rope a little bit. okay, almost there. oh, here's the bottom. >> reporter: wishful thinking. in reality i still had a long way to go. >> i'm going to go down to another level. slowly, slowly. lower myself. okay. i think i've made it. wow, i think i've broken into another mine over here. it's like a bee hive. how are you gentlemen? are you good? >> reporter: i finally now made it to the bottom. there are six workers down here with picks chipping into the rock and there's some very, very primitive wooden supports to try and keep this mine apart.
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aside from the rock, the rest of the surface is just soft mud. a big concern, at least that i have, is that this mine could just collapse. they are digging right underneath these wooden supports, just wood logs pushed together. part of it held up by a plastic bottle. do you want me to do it? okay, all right. >> reporter: once i made it to the belly of the beast eight stories down, i had to pitch in. >> there we go. good? all right. is there gold in this? are you sure? there's gold in this? and there goes the bag. the entire time little bits of rock and mud have been falling down onto us. i hope it doesn't, but i'm very worried that this mine is going to collapse on you. i'm going to get out of here. >> reporter: easier said than done.
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>> gosh, there's really nothing to hold on to here. okay, i can see the light. there are the handles. okay. all right. let's go. all right. thank you. thank you. thank you very much. that was a one-time experience. >> reporter: it is very, very deep. the sides are smooth. the ceiling continues to cave in the entire time around you. they're digging sideways, not just down. and it is thoroughly exhausting. my hat's off to you, ladies and gentlemen. this is very difficult. >> reporter: and very deadly. two days before we arrived, the miners told me they pulled out a young man who had suffocated deep underground. but that didn't stop by mining partner from going back in. >> you went to the bottom of the
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mine. did you think you were going to die today? >> translator: i don't care if i die or not. all i care about now is finding gold. >> reporter: this is the next stop on the gold supply chain, local middlemen who buy up the four tons of artisanal gold that mali produces every year. >> this is about $7,000 worth of gold. it's not as crude as what the villagers produce. it has all the iron removed and mercury removed, it is just pure gold. >> do you think the system is functioning well for the people working underground with their hands and with shovels to produce ultimately the gold that's in front of you? >> translator: because gold prices are so high, they can make a lot of money. but how they divide it amongst themselves is none of my business. >> reporter: that's the refrain you hear all along the gold supply chain, from these dusty streets to the international gold traders who buy artisanal gold. >> switzerland and dubai are
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sort of the main destinations but there are many e.r. countries as well. belgium, spain, portugal, the u.s. about 12% of global gold production comes actually from artisanal gold mining. so it's not the majority of the gold, but at the same time it is a significant proportion. >> and then what happens once it reaches an international hub? is the gold just all mixed together and no one knows where it came from? >> yes, it does actually get mixed and further refined and then on to the retailers and the shops. >> reporter: but this year for the first time, british retailers can begin to know exactly where their gold is coming from, and they can sell jewelry made from so-called fair trade gold. >> why would i want to exchange a wedding ring with my love lovey-dovey spouse and that gold could have created two to three tons of toxic waste. >> reporter: greg helped set up the fair trade system in
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britain. which uses gold from those willing to reduce their mercury use. now he's come to work with jewelers in santa fe, new mexico. >> if you were, you want to drive change on the ground in continents like africa, you have to get the americans really engaged. for me it's a no-brainer because the american consumer consumes the most amount of jewelry in the world. >> reporter: he was trying to convince american jewelers to adopt the same system because right now they have no way of knowing if the gold they're working with was produced under the terrible conditions we saw. >> the consumer needs to drive the change by asking for traceable gold. we need the jewelers to ask their suppliers where does your gold come from. the problem that you have, there's no need to disclose where it comes from. >> reporter: but children like samba can tell you where it's coming from. after a long day pulling rocks up from the mines, he stands in line waiting for his pay dirt.
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two buckets full that he hopes contain some gold ore. >> translator: i have no idea how much i'll make because we are paid in debt. after i wash and refine it i'll get paid for the gold that might be inside. that's it. >> reporter: samba sleeps in this plastic hut 200 miles from his family, right next to the machine that will grind down his gold and his life. >> translator: the main reason i left home is to help my parents and sending them money is my main goal. >> and we're joined here in the studio by richard engel. at least you had the experience in tanks and war zones to know you're not claustrophobic, but look at how it wore you out. think of the work these kids are doing. >> most of the people who go down deep in the mines are not the youngest children. it is too difficult. but the ones that are 5, 6, 7 years old are the ones pulling the rocks out. many of them hope when they get
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older they can go down and work in the mines and dig these shafts that go down eight, sometimes nine stories down. >> we mentioned at the top of the broadcast people when they have a choice try to be good-hearted and try to be good consumers. so how do you know when these specks get melted down and go out into the world. >> well, in this country you don't know because there's no system in place to find out if your gold watch band or your wedding ring came from a place like this, because really most people aren't asking. the gold comes out of the ground, as the report said, 12% roughly of the world's gold from small mines like this. and then it gets all mixed together, put into gold bars and then distributed, so you don't know. what would be required is people to start asking these questions and to demand a supply chain so that they know exactly where it came from, the country of origin and the kind of practices that are used. >> richard engel, thank you very much for your reporting tonight. of course the effort goes on to track this gold down. a lot of folks who see this
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story are probably going to want to try to find out about where your gold comes from that you buy and trying to buy gold that has been mined responsibly we have much more about these efforts on our website, rockcenternbc.com. when we come back here tonight, a few news items you might have missed if we weren't on the case, including a look back at the actor who uttered one of the most unforgettable lines in film history. and later, the jimmy fallon experience, unplugged and here in our studio.
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welcome back. as you know, part of our job here is to get you caught up on news and trends and developments that aren't the lead story, maybe more like one off, maybe two. well, tonight again we're going to do just that beginning with an ad campaign that was something less than a success. it's a lovely ad, the grandparents in israel skyping with the granddaughter in america, and then the guilt. the grandparents with menorah between them in case you missed the symbolism asks if he knows what holiday this is and she answers, christmas. the message, children of israeli jews over here lose their cultural identity so acceptedsend them back to israel. it was cancelled because it
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offended so many people. on the upside, something happy on the web which we'll link to. the welcome home blog has 400 videos of service members returning home. in most cases to surprised family members. warning, the happiness and sheer joy is highly addictive and if these reunions don't get to you see your doctor. check out this airbus landing in high winds in calgary when pilots actually have to land sideways, they call it crabbing. passengers call it harrowing. beautifully done, however, and all in a day's work. the world of sports is still reacting to the news that modesty has been discovered in the nfl. it's been a terrible season for bad sportsmanship, over the top celebrations an taunting, like the buffalo bills player who mimed shooting himself in the thigh because they were playing against plaxico burress of the new york jets who did that in real life. and along comes jimmy graham of
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the new orleans saints who this season has more yards than any other tight end since 1970, and when asked about it last night, he said, quote, it's really my teammates and my coaches. when was the last time you heard that? graham suffered through a childhood of abuse and thanks to his church, a good mentor and good schools, he's a second year nfl standout. we lost a standout a few days back, alan sous. he played zany and creepy and over the top funny characters like uncle al. and while profile writers used buzz words like flamboyant to describe him and while he never came out, he was something of a gay icon. alan was a world war ii army veteran who used the gi bill to get schooled in acting. he was 85. in politics today, newt gingrich became the latest gop candidate to kiss the ring, however figuratively, of donald trump, who insists he is a gop
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power broker who says he's still considering a run himself. he's also planning to moderate a gop debate, proof once and for all that anybody can moderate a debate. there's a lot of animal and insect news this week. how about the largest insect on the planet in new zealand. it's called a giant weta. it's a tricked out cricket shown here chomping on a carrot. then there are the birds in the news. a number of recent photos of huge flaux from the u.k. to alabama where they were fleeing the recent cold snap and blacked out the sky. and this animal-related item, the guy who said squeal like a pig in the movie "deliverance" has died. the actor bill mckinney was 80. his friends and family loved him but he sure ruined canoe trips for the rest of us. finally scotland has pandas although not naturally occurring. these two just arrived from china and they literally arrived fedex. so far all they have done is eat.
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their names of sweetie and sunshine, and there's something else you should know about these two. they're still in separate quarters digging on some bamboo but their handlers are going to see if they can't get something going between these two, maybe make some magic happen. they're hoping they hit it off because baby pandas are impossibly cute. with thanks to marvin gay, we'll take a break here tonight. up next, you get to meet the woman who has so many people so worked up in a city where people were plenty worked up anyway. >> impossible to drive in this city. >> pathetic. >> what we've done, we'vedas en na c made c everything more difficult.
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welcome back. al michaels does. you are looking live at times square here in new york just a few blocks from where we are at rock center. and when they call times square the crossroads of the world, they aren't kidding. it's a big ball of humanity. now a very powerful woman with an exotic name and a controversial, almost glamorous public image is trying to unsnarl new york's endless traffic jam and make it a better place to live and a better place to drive, either on four wheels or two. her name is janette sadik-khan and she is not like a lot of the other transportation officials you meet. as harry smith found out when he walked the streets of new york with her this fall.
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>> reporter: up until two years ago, this was a street. there was buses, cars trucks, and now day and night this is filled with people. >> yes. it used to be an incredible tangle of traffic. and now you can see people out just enjoying it. >> reporter: janette sadik-khan is single handedly either revitalizing or ruining the streets of new york city. she is that rarest of public servants, a bold bureaucrat. >> reporter: did this all turn out better than you anticipated? >> i was greatly relieved that it turned out as well as it did. >> reporter: sadik-khan is the transportation commissioner of new york city. a yawn-inducing title with an enormous budget, most of which is used to pave streets and fix bridges. >> what inspire you say? >> cities inspire me. i think cities are the future of the planet. we have half the population of the world living in cities right now. >> reporter: she is on a mission to tame new york's mean streets. her goal, untangle the gridlock
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and make it safer, greener and cleaner. two years ago, she had a bold idea. close off half of times square to cars, reducing traffic and pollution and making the area safer for pedestrians. >> i think it's a great model for other cities and other countries to look to. >> reporter: other big cities are taking notice. for as the song says, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. >> we've got ourselves a broadway hit. >> reporter: in times square, business improved almost overnight, with half the cars and trucks gone, the 356,000 daily visitors could breathe a little easier, and sadik-khan became the high priestess of people-friendly cities. >> if you build it they will come. >> reporter: harry smith from nbc. but not everyone is a fan of her field of dreams attitude. >> it's impossible to drive here. >> we're doing a story on traffic. >> it's pathetic. >> it's pathetic? >> the mayor has no clue. >> what we've done here is reduced the space and made everything more difficult.
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>> reporter: and it's not only times square making drivers angry. the quest to reduce the city's carbon footprint and manage new york's traffic, sadik-khan has converted 260 miles of city streets into bike lanes. >> they're trying to stigma ties car owners and get them to abandon their cars. >> reporter: brooklyn borough president mocked the bike lanes by riding a tricycle. he even wrote a song about them. >> i simply remember my favorite lanes and then i just say, ay, va. >> reporter: the opinions are really heart felt and if you're taking away my ability to get from point a to point b and the way i've always done it, you are messing with me. >> but i'm not taking away your ability to do it, that's the important piece. i'm just allowing some other people to do it and improving their options for getting around.
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>> reporter: impeccably dressed ivy league educated and tough as nails, sadik-khan has been labeled a zealot, an anti-car extremist and one columnist called her the wacko nutso bike commissioner. >> reporter: do you read this stuff? >> i do. >> reporter: when you read it, what do you think? >> not for tv. >> reporter: it's not just what she's done but how she's done it. sadik-khan is a champion of so-called pilot programs that give her the freedom to try out her ideas without getting bogged down in red tape or community input. >> she goes and she tries to implement it rather than just sit around and talk. people will say, well, you didn't consult me enough. she consults. you can't keep consulting all the time. >> reporter: new york mayor michael bloomberg is an unabashed fan. to him, brash is beautiful. >> reporter: the rumor going around is that she may be the only person around city hall who intimidates you.
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>> i don't think that's quite -- i've never heard that rumor before. there's not a lot of truth to that. but there is some truth to the rumor that the ways to have permanent employment in the bloomberg administration is to have the newspapers demand that i fire you. you can rest assured she'll have a job for a long time, thank you very much. >> reporter: your critics say, well, she's imperious, she doesn't listen, she's autocratic. we could go on and on. >> please don't. >> reporter: when you hear that stuff, what do you say? >> i'm really focused on delivering the agenda that we have to make our streets as safe as they can be. and i feel very strongly about that. >> reporter: the daughter of an investment banker and new york post reporter, sadik-khan is an avid cyclist who often bikes to work. she held a high level transportation job under president clinton and spent nearly a decade in the private sector before mayor bloomberg hired her. >> traffic is still very heavy for miles and miles.
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we've got one lane blocked. >> reporter: even her critics agree sadik-khan doesn't have an easy job. she took us inside the city's traffic command center where engineers are using the latest technology to keep midtown moving. using gps data from taxicabs, motion sensors and traffic cameras, technicians can not only monitor congestion in realtime, they can fix it. >> right lane blocked, expect delays. >> they can actually react to what happens on the streets wirelessly and change a traffic signal if it needs to be changed or get a police department tow truck in there to move a truck or a car off to the side. >> reporter: while all that technology might trim a few minutes off a daily commute, a lot of drivers simply want their lanes back. >> why do you think the bike lanes make people so mad? >> i think they're different and they're visible. what you're seeing in the opinion polls is that 66% of new yorkers like them. so despite what you might read in some of the press, i think that there's an understanding
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that they're better for the city. it's healthier for the city and it's safer for the city. >> reporter: these colored lines represent all the bike lanes. sadik-khan has doubled the amount. and while the percentage of new yorkers commuting by bike has doubled in the past 20 years, the actual number is incredibly small, less than 1%. >> this is insane, move the lane. >> reporter: nowhere has the battle of the bike lanes been more contentious than in brooklyn. louise hainline has been fighting city hall and in particular a two-way like lane in front of her apartment building for the last year. a psychology professor at brooklyn college, she set out to collect her own data. >> so i set up this pretty cheesy surveillance camera in a window nearby, and i filmed the bike paths, and then i spent hours in front of a computer counting bikes. >> reporter: after shooting 500
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hours of footage and coding the data, she concluded the transportation department had overstated the benefits of the bike lane. >> they seem to have created a bike lane to solve a problem that doesn't exist. >> reporter: does it surprise you that people will go to that extent to sort of prove you wrong? >> we've got a city of 8.4 million, and sometimes i think they're 8.4 million traffic engineers and so everybody has a very strong opinion about how they want to see their street used. so, no, it doesn't surprise me. >> nobody makes you take a bicycle, but giving you another alternative, that's just giving everybody more of a right to be in charge of their own destiny, which is what you'd really like in a democracy. >> reporter: but freedom on new york city streets has always been hard to come by. >> she is a visionary. >> reporter: sam schwartz is one of the leading transportation engineers. this former traffic commissioner for the city earned his nickname "gridlock" during the 1980
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transit strike when he worried that the city grid system would lock up. yes, that's how the term "gridlock" was born. >> traffic speeds today are identical to what they were in 1915. >> 1915, the traffic speeds are the same as they were now? >> yes. a horse could move at 5 to 7 miles an hour and cars in midtown manhattan in 2011 are moving across town at 5 to 7 miles an hour. crazy. >> maybe we should just get rid of the cars altogether. >> bring back those horses. >> we have to do things differently. you can't wish your way out of congestion. >> we are thrilled to be coming together today -- >> reporter: sadik-khan recently announced a new bike share plan for the city that will bring 10,000 bikes to the street, allowing the riders to rent bicycles from automated kiosks. more change that will most certainly bring more controversy. >> the notion that you're going to change things and make it better and you're from a
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government, that's a heavy lift. >> what are you, crazy? >> yeah. change is always, always hard. you're not going to make everybody happy. but you have to try your best to leave the city in a better place than you found it, and that's really what i'm here to do. >> so, harry, i'm no traffic engineer, but if you -- if you want to make a pedestrian mall out of broadway, if you want to put a robert trent jones golf course in, go ahead. >> sure. >> i do have news. those cars are not going to stay home. they're going to come into new york city and find other streets. >> they talk about doing congestion like they have in london and that got nowhere. honestly broadway goes diagonally across and that adds more places for people to stop. so getting rid of that section of broadway actually, they say, helped the traffic move a little better. >> somebody has been lobbied. >> you think i drank the kool-aid?
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>> and the bike lanes. now, on behalf of those people who are angered by the bike lanes, is there a time when if they're still more desolate than not in five years, they will paint them black again and cars and trucks will be able to use them? >> there have been perhaps one or two cases where they have gone back and said we have made a mistake and perhaps we should reengineer what we've done to this bicycle lane. so they are really responding to the needs of the people. >> listen to you. i think i just got played. i just got played by harry smith on our own broadcast. thank you very much. interesting profile. >> always a pleasure. we'll take a break. up next here on "rock center" this monday night, jimmy fallon, veteran creature of late night, will be here with us to boldly vep venture into the white hot light of primetime.
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welcome back to "rock center." our friend, jimmy fallon, is here. there he is right there. he does it all. he's a comedian, he's a talk show host, he's a great sketch actor and a brilliant mimic.
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and a pretty decent singer and musician. >> thank you. >> he has been called the swiss army knife of entertainment. he's shiepny, he's pocket-sized, he's here with us in the studio tonight. how many floors above us are you? >> five floors above. >> okay. probably shouldn't have taken me that long. >> thank you. you've been there many times. >> yes, i have. >> you're frequent on our show. thank you for being a guest on our show. >> thank you for having me, jimmy. i'm happy to have you here. >> yeah. this is fun. >> thank you. this is our new home. >> i like this. >> you're very distracted by all the bright lights. >> you didn't tell me about this. i wish i had my sea biscuit down. >> you can see the 59th street bridge and everything. you were in the news recently. >> yeah. >> for a song that the band played as you introduced michele bachmann. >> michele bachmann.
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>> we are not going to tell you the full title of the song but you might be able to figure it out by taking a look at your screen here. >> and this is clearly a form of bias on the part of the hollywood entertainment elite. >> in a tweet fallon apologized saying i'm sorry about the intro mess. i hope she comes back. >> so she went on fox the next day and said that there's no way michelle obama would have been treated the same way. fair point? >> i guess so. you know, sure. i don't think anyone at all, if it's brian williams on our show, should not be treated that way. so i was embarrassed by that. i wish -- i want it to go away. i called her numerous times to apologize and then i didn't hear back from her that day. i talked to her the next day and she said i had a kick on your show. i had a kick on your show. i just don't know why they played that. >> i'm so sorry. he'll call and apologize to you.
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he's been yelled at by his mother. >> qwest love is the drummer and band leader. >> he felt bad. he felt really bad. >> you have a library of greatest hits. for those of us who have been fans of your work for a long time, going back to the great snl stuff, the kids from boston the barry gibb talk show, you have mastered bruce springsteen you have mastered neil young and you have a lot of great music on the show. >> we had springsteen on once. we are going through an old set list of his from the '70s. i go look at these songs. i go what's this here. he goes that's a song with wiggle wag el. you know the song and they're like no, no, we don't know that song. oh you should know that song, it's a great song. and he's still talking about how he loves playing and he just loves the music. i said we'll be right back with more of bruce springsteen. we went to commercial and we
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went to the commercial and the roots played wiggle waggle and his face and eyes lit up like a kid on christmas. that's wiggle waggle. what happened was quest love in the meantime googled it and taught the band how to play it. >> deniro was your first guest. who would you love to have on. >> i would love to play wii with the queen. wii bowling. >> not big into wii from what we understand from windsor palace. >> you don't even have to leave england. we can do it through skype. >> is charles a deal maker? camilla? >> charles is good. my ultimate goal is i want to go to space with richard branson and do the show with david bowie as a musical guest. >> both attainable within like five business days. you can now go to space with
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richard branson. >> can i borrow money? >> sure. >> this is fantastic and thank you for having me. >> thank you very much for coming down to visit us. >> please. >> we're working through the chairs. it's problematic. luckily we know each other. >> this is working for me. >> jimmy fallon, ladies and gentlemen. "late night with jimmy fallon" on really late at night here on nbc. we'll take a break. when we come back, if you have some thoughts on things you'd like to accomplish before the end of wish, there's now a placee to put that wish where everyon can see it. stick around and you'll see.
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welcome back.
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with jimmy. before we leave tonight i want you to see something. it is an art project but it's really just a wall and it says "before i die." and that's where the rest of us come in. it's our job to then grab a piece of chalk and fill in the blanks. one devoted scribbler wants to marry kim before they die. several people want to travel the world, to be in peace. there is a potential cliff diver, a lotto winner, someone else says forgive my husband. most of them aren't so weighty. they're the stuff of everyday life from people in all walks of life. it's the work of an artist named candy chang. the idea started in new orleans post-katrina and has spread to other buildings, other cities, including new york. this particular one is a wall in brooklyn. young or old, rich or poor, the wall does make you think as you walk by and it clearly had that effect on a thoughtful young man named mateo on the day of our visit. >> before i die i want to make
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my dad not work because he's always coming after 7:00. and with him, i want to go to spain for my vacation. >> all sounded perfectly reasonable to us. we need to get his dad home. by the way, the forecast for tomorrow here in new york, steady rain, and it may wipe clean the current slate of hopes and dreams and thankfully there will always be many more. that is "rock center" for tonight. for all the good folks who work so hard to bring you this broadcast, thank you for being here with us. we'll be back at it next week. in the meantime, i'll see you tomorrow evening for nbc "nightly news." for us, good night from new york. your late local news begins now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com health concerns over t(apple's headquarters. why they arexd worried about taking a walk. food trucks or

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